Jerome Kaino's pathway back to an All Blacks jersey will begin with Auckland in the NPC this week.
Veteran flanker Kaino will sit out a third successive Test when the world champions face Argentina in New Plymouth on Saturday.
Instead he will play earlier that afternoon for Auckland against Taranaki at Eden Park, according to an update on the All Blacks' twitter account.
The 34-year-old has been granted time away from the national team to address personal issues following revelations about his private life in an Australian newspaper last month.
Kaino flew home from Sydney ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup Test after the story alleged his involvement in an extramarital affair.
He wasn't involved in the lead-up to the second Wallabies Test in Dunedin, nor this week's Pumas clash.
Coach Steve Hansen has said Kaino will be considered for selection when he is deemed mentally and physically ready to return.
Highlanders loose forward Liam Squire has impressed in Kaino's absence, leaving the veteran with a steep challenge to add to his 81 Tests.
Kaino has only played twice since the drawn third Test against the British and Irish Lions two months ago - for the Blues against the Sunwolves in Tokyo and in the All Blacks' provincial warm-up match.